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New Funding to Develop Zinc-Oxide Nano-Wire Based UV Light Detectors

Dr. John Tanner, President and founder of Tanner Research, Inc. announced today that the Army Research Office awarded an SBIR Phase I contract for $100,000 in new funding to develop zinc-oxide nano-wire based ultra-violet light detectors. Tanner's device is uniquely 'solar blind' with much higher responsivity than currently used photomultiplier tubes. A 'solar blind' detector is only sensitive to a UV light band of the solar spectrum ranging from 250-to-280 nanometers: a narrow light band strongly blocked by the atmosphere. Tanner Research is partnered on this effort with the UC San Diego research lab of Prof. Deli Wang.

Monrovia-based Tanner Research team will be taking advantage of the unique physics of ZnO nano-wires: devices that can provide high gain and require significantly less power than photomultiplier tubes. The solar-blind UV detectors will have important military applications that include the detection of missile plumes, bio/chemical agents, and explosives, operating equally well during daylight and during darkness.

Tanner Research, which has four divisions, provides advanced technology research with focus areas in image processing and micro machine design, and electronic design automation (EDA) software tools, consulting and engineering services for integrated circuits, and manufacturing services for MEMS devices. Customers include the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of Energy, NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Microsoft, IBM, and Intel. Tanner Research is currently collaborating on technology development with Caltech, Stanford and Yale universities. Now, UC San Diego has joined the growing list of technology collaborators.

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